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  1. Default My American Trip. Help needed

    Hello There

    Im planning to come to the US for the first time in December. The purpose of my trip is to see the sites of america, see alot of sporting events and just relax. I will be coming over with my girlfriend and then meeting my cousin a couple of days into the trip in New York. I have a few questions though as I have never been to the US and I was hoping you could help me out. Here is a run down so far of my trip. Im still waiting for some sport schedules to come out to properly plan my trip:

    Will be flying into Loiusville, Kentucky on Friday the 4th of December. There we would take in some sights and catch a basketball game on the night of the 5th at the University of Louisville. That night we would fly out (or early that morning) and fly into Charlotte, NC to see the a NFL game (tight turn around I know) We would stay in Charlotte for couple of days and then take a amtrak train to Washington DC around the 10th. We would stay in Washington for a day or 2 to see all the sites and then make our way to New York to meet my cousin where would spend at least 5 days.
    From New York it\'s a little unclear on where we would would go. Either down to Miami or somewhere along the east coast. Can anyone suggest some nice places to visit. Either by rental car, train or fly?
    From whichever destination we choose before hand we end up in Colorado around the 17th. I have looked into some mountain cabins which would be a nice change from staying in the heart of the city. Most of the cabins are 35-40 miles west of Colorado springs. Can someone tell me how far away that is from the Denver/Colorado airport and how far it is from the city of Denver? While we would like to relax and be able go skiing and snowboarding (girlfriends first time in snow) we don\'t want to be to far away from the city. I emailed Colorado Cabins and he told me most cabins are about an hour drive from the city of Denver. Can anyone confirm this?
    We would pickup a rental car upon arrival in Colorado and then have it for the remainder of our trip. Once we are done in Colorado we want to drive to Los Angeles. Am I correct in saying that we can either drive through Utah or Arizona? How long would the drive be at that time of the year?
    We would likely stay in LA for around 3 days and take everything in. From there we would drive up to San Fransico and stay there for Christmas. I have read some reports that the average travel time from LA to San Fran would be around 10 hours? An what route would you suggest for me?
    From San Fran we would then drive to Las Vegas where we would stay from the 26th to the 1st of January. In Vegas we would see most of the sites and do all the regular tourist stuff.
    Depending on my girlfriends work she might have to fly home on the 2nd. My cousin and I would then continue our trip. Maybe by driving up to Oregon or flying back to the east coast to Tennesse to see some more bball games.

    Any information anyone has would be much appreciated. If someone recommends staying longer or shorter in some plances please let me know as im just
    planning this trip as I go.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default beyond scattered

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I've got to say, you've really got a very scattered trip where you are zig-zagging, backtracking, and just kinds of going all over the place without any apparent reason. There really isn't anything specific that's wrong with that, but it is going to increase your costs and the amount of time you spend just getting around quite significantly.

    Is there any reason you picked Louisville and Charolette for your 2 sports events to start? They seem rather random when you are then going to be going to DC and NY, and you are right about the turnaround being tight. I'm not sure if there would be a direct flight available between those two cities and thus you could really be pushing it to get to Carolina in time for a 1pm game.

    With your Colorado leg, if the company that you are looking at says the cabins are about an hour away from Denver, then that's going to be a far more accurate answer than you'll get anywhere else. Its not like there is just one spot where you could rent a cabin in Colorado, so we'd just be guessing. However, if they are actually located 40 miles west of Colorado Spring, that would generally be a good 2 hours or more from the Denver airport.

    The rest of your trip again seems a bit odd. If you look at a map, Las Vegas is right on the direct route from Denver to LA, so it would seem very odd to backtrack to Vegas after San Francisco, especially if you plan to head to Oregon next (and I'm not sure why you'd need to go to Tennesse if you wanted to watch more basketball). LA to SFO can be done in under 10 hours if you are driving direct, however if you follow the coast, it really becomes a 2 day trip.

  3. Default

    Thanks for you quick reply.

    This is why im trying to get an much information as possible. Im picking Louisville and Charlotte because my favourite basketball team the Charlotte 49ers are playing in Louivsille on this day. And this will be a huge game so I thought why not start there. To my luck the Carolina Panthers were playing the next day.
    I don't think I will be back to Charlotte so going from Kentucky-Charlotte-Washington-New York is ok yes?
    From there I might just go direct to Colorado. I did not realise that Vegas was right on the direct route to LA. However we need to be in Vegas from the 26th -1st. So that leaves a big gap from Colorado to Vegas.
    What about travelling through Arizona to Los Angeles? What would you suggest for this route?
    As for going to Oregon that is just an idea I had. Also Charlotte play Tennesse at the start of January so obviously thats why I would go there.

    Money is not really and issue for me. Obviously I don't want to back track and waste time but im willing to do so If that means seeing the basketball and nfl games I want.

    Again thanks for you help and any advice would be much appreciated

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default More research.

    Hi there,

    From Colorado on the 17th to Vegas by the 26th would leave you lots of options. You have some of the finest scenery and National parks between the two locations and if you are skiing for a few days the time will soon fly by. Some options would be the Black canyon of the Gunnison, the great little towns of Ouray, Silverton and Durango along the Million dollar highway [550] Mesa Verde or Moab with Arches NP on the doorstep, Canyonlands, and then possibly Capitol reef, Bryce canyon and Zion NP in Utah, Lake Powell, Monument valley and the Grand canyon in AZ plus many more great options. It's probably best to get the map out at this stage and use the search button on the forums when you see places of interest and then start to add dots and put an itinerary together. We can certainly help you join the dots but you need to put a plan in place to enable us to do so.

  5. Default

    Thanks for the info.

    My trip is still quite scattered. Also it doesn't help that my geography is quite bad. Looking closer at the map I realise that Vegas is directly across from Los Angeles. So going from Los Angeles to San Fran to Vegas does seem odd I see that now.
    How about driving from Colorado through Utah to San Fransico. Then down to LA and then across to Vegas. Does this seem reasonable?
    In a perfect world I would go from Colorado straight to Vegas and then to the other places but I need to be in vegas at a certain time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Freedom of the road trip !

    I am guessing that your girlfriend wants to see LA before she flies home from the trip ? The great thing about the roadtrip is to be able to go where you want, when you want !
    Anything is possible with the right amount of time and your route needs to fit your plans, so you need to work with that. On a straight forward run Colorado, Las Vegas and LA before heading North makes more sense but the road trip is all about the individual and how it works best for them. From Colorado Springs you could head to SF by using I-80 through Salt lake city or head for I-70 and enjoy some of the parks I previously mentioned, and onto US 5O to Ely where you can continue to Reno and Sacramento. Unfortunately you won't be able to cut through Yosemite this time of year from the East as the 120 [Tioga pass] will be closed.

  7. Default

    Awesome thanks for that.
    Yes your correct my girlfriend wants to see the snow and LA the most out of the trip.
    Your route from Colorado Springs to San Fran sounds like the way to go. Ive done some research and it takes around 15-20 hours yes?
    So the ideal way would be to stop for the night in Utah? Then continue on in the morning and arrive in San Fran later that day.

    Also when driving from San Fran to LA I beleive its about a 6 hours drive on route 5 but if I want to take everything in and make some stops then I would be best of taking the coast line on route 1. Which would be a 2 day thing?
    What place would you recommend staying in overnight? Somewhere in between San Fran and LA.

    Thanks so much for the help.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Real time.

    The drive times are over optimistic [as in impossible] and probably came from a mapping program. The trouble is those machines don't need to eat, fill up with gas and go to the bathroom etc. The best you could hope for is two very long days of driving to get to Sacramento and finish it off on the morning of day three. This wouldn't allow anytime for sightseeing, you would be behind the wheel for 11-12 hours a day for 2 days and you still have a the possibility of weather disruption slowing you up. That would be Salt lake city and Sacramento going on I-80 but I would take 3 full days, taking I-70 stopping at Moab, Ely [US 50]or just beyond [no idea where !] and then to San Fran.
    I highly recommend you take the coast road [PCH] to LA and it is most definitely a 2 day thing to even start to enjoy it, three is even better. Cambria or Morro bay would be a good point for a one night stopover. You are trying to cover huge distances in a small amount of time and you really need to try and work it so that you aren't just rushing from one city to another but enjoying the trips in between.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default stepping back

    I really do think you're getting into a mode where you're trying to patchwork everything together so much that you are only building more confusion into your trip.

    I think this is the ideal time simply to get out a map, and take a look at all of the options that you really do have, and see which ones would be of interest to you. There are a whole lot of things that you could see between Denver and San Francisco, and you've got a lot more options than just taking a straight line, goes as fast as possible kind of trip. There are a lot of choices for things to do here. I think doing a little work to see what fits within your goals would be well worth the time.

  10. Default

    I agree with you Midwest Michael. To this point I have not really focused on the details of my trip. Becuase I would have no clue on the size of Colorado and Utah im just throwing some idea's out there.
    With all this information that has been given to me I can look closer and what im going to do cause I have some idea on the routes and times etc..

    Thanks for all you info and im sure ill be back soon to ask some more questions.

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